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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-09

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Christodoulos Calls for Crisis to Settle
  • [02] Powerful Explosion in Madrid
  • [03] Thorough Investigation by Supreme Court
  • [04] 17th KKE Convention Begins
  • [05] Defence Ministry Bills at Maximos
  • [06] New ELA Trial Next Week
  • [07] Rasmussen Becomes PM Again
  • [08] Strong Quake in Southern Pacific
  • [09] Problems with Contracts Based on Former Law

  • [01] Hierarchy to convene in emergency meeting Christodoulos Calls for Crisis to Settle

    09 Feb 2005 10:47:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    According to information from NET 105.8, Archbishop Christodoulos is expected to propose to the Holy Synod on Monday that an emergency convocation of the Hierarchy be called for the end of February. This comes as the continuous revelations regarding finance and other scandals rock the Hierarchy and the good name of the Church. The leader of the Church of Greece is moving in that direction, as more and more people ask for the Churchs most senior leader to manage this serious crisis. In the meantime, Christodoulos met this morning with Metropolitan Bishop Ieronimos of Thiva as part of contacts with Metropolitan Bishops in order to find the means to settle the crisis. Following this, he will meet with Metropolitan Bishop Dorotheos of Nafpaktos as well as those of Elassona, Samos, Mantineia and Dimitriada. Circles at Fanari describe the image presented by the Church of Greece as very sad.

    Cycle of Meetings Opens

    Apart from this, reactions among the ranks of the Hierarchy and amongst the clergy have been triggered by the decision of the Holy Synod to ban statements by the clergy on mass Media without written permission. Metropolitan Bishop Chrisostomos of Zakynthos accused the Archbishop of trying to gag freedom of expression and of issuing certificates of good morals for drug traffickers.

    "We warned both the Holy Synod and the Archbishop not to cover up the various incidents that arose. Now we are paying for the mess," said the general secretary of the Holy Association of Greek Clergymen, Father Eftsathios Kollas on NET 105.8.

    Metropolitan Bishop Ieronimos of Thiva was the first Metropolitan Bishop to have spoken after the revelation of Giosakis activities. Iakovos Giosakis was this morning taken to Korydallos Prison. Fr Ieronimos arrived at the Archbishops office this morning and their meeting has continued for over 1 and a half hours. The appointment was made last night, when the Archbishop telephoned Ieronimos and requested him to meet at his office.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    Related News:

    Archimandrite Giosakis in Custody

    [02] Bearing the Stamp of ETA Powerful Explosion in Madrid

    09 Feb 2005 11:04:00 (Last updated: 09 Feb 2005 12:55:42)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - Associated Press - AFT

    A powerful car bomb explosion rocked the northern suburbs of Madrid, close to the main convention centre Ifema, on Wednesday morning. A Basque newspaper received a warning phone call by Basque separatist group ETA a little before the explosion. According to officials, at least 39 people were lightly from the explosion, while 21 of them have been hospitalised. The King and Queen of Spain were to inaugurate the ARCO Contemporary Art Exhibition in the Ifema centre later in the day, while the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, was also due to attend the ceremony.

    Antiterrorist Operation Underway

    The warning phone call was made to the Basque newspaper Gara , which frequently prints ETAs positions.

    However, no group has officially assumed responsibility for the attack just yet.

    The prefecture of Biscaye announced that during the night, a number of people connected to the Basque separatist group were arrested in the Basque territories, as part of an antiterrorist operation.

    The same sources declared that the number of those arrested or the exact location where the arrests took place cannot be announced yet, since the operation is still underway.

    According to the Basque Interior Ministry, which is being quoted by the Spanish Media, this police operation prompted clashes between a group of people who had blocked the road with trucks and the police.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Giosakis Transferred to Korydallos Prison Thorough Investigation by Supreme Court

    09 Feb 2005 09:59:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The investigations to break up the extrajudicial network in the area of Justice are in full swing. The Supreme Courts Prosecutors are conducting a thorough investigation into dozens of cases involving Justices, while the Appellate Courts Plenary Session will convene Thursday week in order to appoint an Appellate Examiner who will taker on the main investigation into corrupt judges. A total of thirty Justices form the target of the investigations, while a new case came to light today in Thessaloniki. Furthermore, a new Bill for stamping our corruption in the area of Justice, which had been announced by Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras, may be submitted to Parliament today. Moreover, the Deputy Public Prosecutor of Appeal, Nikos Athanasopoulos, who is alleged to be implicated in Iakovos Giosakis judicial cases, will eventually make his plea today, after having received an extension. In the meantime, the Personal Data Protection Authority has asked for the tapes containing personal discussions between Metropolitan Bishops and Justice Officers, which were broadcast by TV stations, in order to decide whether any personal data have been violated. Finally, Archimandrite Giosakis, who is accused of illegal antique trading and whose name is implicated in extrajudicial scandals, was transferred to Korydallos Prison today.

    New Case in Thessaloniki

    A top justice official has been reported to the Supreme Court inspector for attempting to influence a Magistrate in Thessaloniki. As per the newspaper Aggelioforos, at a time when the Supreme Court is investigating corruption cases involving judges, the President of the Appellate Justices of Thessaloniki intervened in a civil court case and asked for the exemption of the Magistrate that was presiding over the case.

    On 28 January 2005, the Thessaloniki Magistrates Court was hearing a case regarding the application of a restraining order for allocation of shares within a company, which had been filed by a bank subsidiary. According to the complaint submitted to the Supreme Court, the top judicial officer entered the courtroom and started talking on intimate terms to the lawyer, thus trying to influence the Magistrate.

    The Magistrate filed an application to be exempted and the ruling was not issued, while according to the article, the intervention of the President of the Appellate Justices has created havoc in Thessalonikis judicial and legal circles.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Revelations Continue

    [04] Central Committee Elections on Saturday 17th KKE Convention Begins

    09 Feb 2005 07:55:00 (Last updated: 09 Feb 2005 12:51:21)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    KKEs 17th Convention began today in Perissos with the opening speech by the partys current General Secretary, Aleka Papariga, and will conclude on Saturday 12 February with the elections for the partys new Central Committee. Hundreds of elected representatives, personalities from the political and social life of Greece, as well as representatives from 80 labour and communist parties will also attend. Mrs Papariga launched a severe attack against New Democracy, PASOK and Synaspismos, while she pointed out that the social powers need to join forces against imperialism and the choices that afflict the rights of the people. Furthermore, she predicted crisis in the Greek economy and society in the next few years. A total of 80 delegations from parties from all over the world have declared that they will also attend the proceedings. Mrs Papariga is yet again the sole candidate for the position of the General Secretary of the partys Central Committee.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:


    [05] Defence Ministry Bills at Maximos

    09 Feb 2005 11:54:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The discussions during the meeting between PM Kostas Karamanlis and the leadership of the Defence Ministry focused on the three new Defence Bills that will be submitted to Parliament by the end of February. The Bills regard enlistments, the reserves and the living conditions of armed forces personnel. As per the Minister of National Defence, Spilios Spiliotopoulos, a Bill regarding Armed Forces supplies and which will secure transparency, a matter that formed one of NDs pre-election pledges, is in its final stage of preparations. Mr Spiliotopoulos also referred to the housing programmes that are underway for Armed Forces personnel in Evros and the Eastern Aegean, while he pointed out that Greece forms a stability factor in the Balkans, as well as in other countries, like Afghanistan.

    The preparation of programmes for the next five years, 2005-2010, the finances of the Defence Ministry, as well as matters relating to human resources, since 2005 has been named year for the welfare of the Armed Forces, were also discussed in the meeting.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Extension for defence lawyers to be briefed New ELA Trial Next Week

    09 Feb 2005 12:22:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Next week will see the continuation of the trial before the Appeals Court of Christos Tsigaridas, Kostas Agapiou, Eirini Athanasaki, Angeletos Kanas, Michalis Kassimis and Giannis Serifis, who are accused of committing bomb attacks against social security agencies, which are ascribed to ELA. On Thursday 17 February, the times will be set for the witnesses so that there may be no delays in the process. Among those appearing in court today were lawyers Angelos Varoutsis and Efstahios Vlantis, who were appointed ex officio as defence lawyers for defendant Kostas Agapiou, who persists in his refusal to be represented by lawyers. Agapiou repeated that he does not wish, with the appointment of defence counsels, to give legal coverage to processes amounting to abuse of power, while he described the referral as disgraceful. Varoutsos and Vlantis asked the court to recall their appointment, citing sensitivity, owing to the defendants refusal to accept them, but also owing to the volume of information on which they have not been briefed.

    The Court did not accept their request, and gave them a weeks extension in order to study the case. The two lawyers colleague Ms Panagiota Georgiou, who has also been appointed by the court to defend Mr Agapiou, was not present in court, which has resulted in the Public Prosecutor Miltiadis Andriotelis asking to file a charge of insubordination.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [07] With One Extra Seat Rasmussen Becomes PM Again

    09 Feb 2005 07:29:00

    Sources: ANA

    The Liberal-Conservative coalition and their allies, the Peoples Party, increased their majority in the Danish Parliament by one seat in Tuesdays elections, as per the final results announced by the Interior Ministry. According to the official results, which were issued at 1am (Greek local time), the government coalition gathered 52.6% and 95 seats, as opposed to 52.3% and 94 seats in the last elections, thus winning the required majority out of the 179 seats in Parliament.

    Opposition's Power also Increased

    The centre-left Opposition, which seemed to be gathering high percentages during the pre-election polls, eventually received 44.5% and 80 seats, as opposed to 43.1% and 77 seats in the 2001 elections.

    The leader of the Social Democrat party, Mogens Lykketoft, former Foreign and Economy Minister, admitted his defeat in the elections, two hours prior to the announcement of the official results.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Strong Quake in Southern Pacific

    09 Feb 2005 07:13:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale rattled Vanuatu and an exceptionally low tide in nearby Papua New Guinea sparked fears of a tsunami in two separate South Pacific incidents on Wednesday. The epicentre of the Vanuatu quake, which was recorded at 1:48am (local time), was located 400km northwest of the capital Port Vila, however as per the Geoscience Institute of Australia, there is no information on damages.

    Fears for New Tsunami

    The tremor was big enough to automatically trigger a warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, but no unusual wave activity was recorded.

    According to Australian scientists, the quake was more than 200 km below the earths surface and thus too deep to trigger a tsunami wave.

    In spite of this, however, the lingering memories of the recent SE Asia disaster were enough to evoke fears in the people of Papua New Guinea, where, according to the police, thousands of residents living in the coastal areas around the capital Port Moresby abandoned their homes, after an exceptionally low tide sparked rumours that a tsunami was about to hit.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Cannot be Converted to Permanent Problems with Contracts Based on Former Law

    09 Feb 2005 00:41:00

    Sources: NET 105.8

    According to the revised constitutional clauses and the ruling of the Court of Auditors plenary session, the fixed-term employment contracts of those working in the public sector cannot be converted into permanent. The decision of the supreme fiscal court does not concern the contract workers who will become permanent under the recent Pavlopoulos Decree, but the employees with contracts based on the former legislation under Ministers Vaso Papandreou and Kostas Skandalidis. However, the Court of Auditors ruling will decide on the future of approximately 3,800 contract workers who have resorted to the Supreme Administrative Court and are asking that the Pavlopoulos Presidential Decree be deemed unconstitutional, as it does not make them permanent.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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